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The eclectic sounds of Bonobo sweep through the Bay Area at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

BonoboPhotos by Dace Hines // Written by Julie Mullen //

Bonobo (Live) with Bob Moses //
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco
September 23rd, 2017 //

British electronic musician Simon Green, aka Bonobo, stopped by the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for his “Migration Live Tour” last Saturday. With Bob Moses warming up the crowd, I found myself doubting how a solo artist like Bonobo could fill the immense and cavernous venue all by himself.

But shortly after Bob Moses’ opening set, he took the stage with the support of an impressive backing band. British singer Szjerdene then commanded the stage, adding calming vocals on tracks like “Breaking Apart” that soared over the crowd as five large video screens displayed stunning aerial footage of vast landscapes.

Bonobo

The show began to take flight across fields of flowers and crashing waves on coast lines — and then the drums kicked in. Booties quickly started shakin’, and vertical chasing lights accented the audience’s feet contacting the floor. Eventually the lights dimmed, the string musicians left the stage and the many sounds of Bonobo stepped forward and proved me wrong once again. Despite what I thought at the onset, Green’s downtempo jams and his undeniably mesmerizing visual effects were able to fill the venue with warmth and light.

Bonobo broke it down and then put it all back together again for “No Reason”, closing the night with the full band and his awe-inspiring light show that sliced through the room and created a false sky with fluffy, floating clouds. At that point, it was clear the magic behind Bonobo’s live performances is a combination of unique sounds, soaring vocals, uplifting drum beats and string musicians, producing something that feels whole and cohesive.

Setlist:
Migration
7th Sevens
Break Apart
Towers
Kiara
Kong
Surface
First Fires
Bambro Koyo Ganda
Cirrus
Outlier
We Could Forever
No Reason
Sapphire
Ontario
Figures
Samurai
Kerala

READ OUR REPORT FROM THE LOS ANGELES SHOW.

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